Marijuana retailers in Colorado are going after holiday shoppers’ wish lists using traditional Black Friday sales techniques, the Associated Press reports. Pot dispensaries are offering everything from discounts to gift cards, special holiday strains and free gift-wrapping, all the better to attract buyers.
Medical pot dispensaries in many states have offered holiday deals to customers before, but this is the first time such deals will be extended to recreational buyers since the country’s first legal retail shops opened in Colorado in January 2014. Some retailers have rebranded Nov. 28 “Green Friday.”
“We have really high expectations,” Ryan Fox, owner of a pot shop in Denver called Grass Station, told Bloomberg. “Now we’ve got the legal means for people to give marijuana as a gift, and that’s never really been something that was feasible in the past.” Grass Station will offer the first 16 customers on Friday an ounce of weed for $50, one-fifth the normal price, according to Bloomberg. They’ll also sell 60 $1 joints, Fox said – a new kind of psychedelic stocking stuffer.
But buying weed, even legally, for others comes with caveats. Here’s your guide to Colorado pot law and what it says about gifting marijuana.
Is purchasing marijuana for someone else legal? In short, yes. While Colorado law does not explicitly cover purchasing marijuana as a gift, the state constitution (as amended in the 2012 referendum) “states that the transfer of one ounce or less of marijuana without remuneration to a person who is 21 years of age or older is not considered an illegal act,” a representative for Colorado’s Department of Revenue confirmed to International Business Times over email. Selling it, on the other hand, is still very much prohibited.
The rules are different when it comes to giving marijuana to someone from out of state. Visitors to Colorado can legally possess no more than 1/4 of an ounce of pot at one time, meaning it would be illegal under Colorado law to give an out-of-state relative or friend more than that amount.
How much marijuana can be purchased? The law allows any in-state resident 21 or older with proof of age to purchase up to an ounce of pot in one transaction. Keep in mind that the law limits the possession of marijuana to one ounce, which includes any infused products like edible chocolate. While it is technically legal to go from one shop to another buying up pot products, the second a buyer has more than an ounce on his or her person, he or she is no longer protected under the law, Jeff Gard, a Boulder attorney representing marijuana businesses and consumers, told IBTimes.
Out-of-staters have to abide the 1/4 ounce rule when it comes to buying Colorado weed.
Where is the best place to enjoy pot? “All use is private use,” Gard said. That includes in your own home or car, as long as it is out of public view. On the other hand, “you don’t have privacy on a ski lift, a restaurant or a sidewalk,” Gard noted.
Can marijuana products be shipped in the mail? Definitely not. For one, the U.S. Postal Service is a federal agency, which means sending any amount of weed by USPS is a federal offense. Even sending weed within state lines by USPS is illegal. Shipping weed outside the state by any carrier adds a whole other set of federal law violations.
Private carriers like the United Parcel Service and FedEx have indicated that they are not okay with shipping pot through their systems and would likely confiscate it.
Can recreational pot be given to someone under 21 who has a Colorado-issued medical marijuana card? No. Laws governing recreational pot sales apply to all recreational pot, so transferring retail pot to someone under 21, regardless of whether they have a medical card, is illegal and would be considered distribution. However, if a person were to buy medical marijuana for someone under 21 who has a medical marijuana card, that would be fine, Gard said, as long as both people are within their possession limits.
Any other tips for holiday marijuana shoppers? “Don’t give anybody edibles,” Gard suggested. Today’s edible products are more potent than ever and can “knock your socks off,” he said. “We don’t want to fill up the ER’s with a bunch of holiday edibles eaters.”